From DESTIL–(at)–orldnet.att.net Tue Oct 1 15:19:35 CDT 1996
Article: 116870 of alt.guitar
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From: “Dale E. Still”
Newsgroups: alt.guitar
Subject: Re: Looking for Mosrite Guitars
Date: Tue, 01 Oct 1996 14:31:10 -0400
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Cloud9 wrote:
>
> I am wondering where i can still purchase Mosrite guitars. I heard that
> they still produce them in Japan. Is that really true??? I hope not. If
> anyone you of you can fill me in on the mosrite scene, that would be
> great. Thanks
>
> –Semie Moseley died in august 1992. His wife Loretta continued to operate the business
for a while, but it eventually folded, as it has done about 20 times before. Semie was
the nicest man on the face of the earth and made the most beautiful guitars, but was the
worst business man you have ever seen. Mosrite of Japan is a separate entity. Semie
sold the rights to use the name back in the 70’s to generate a little cash. They are
very nice, but seldom seen here. The Japanese are Ventures/Mosrite fanatics and suck up
everything they can find. There are people who make a living out of buying up
collectibles and shipping them over.
Many used Mosrite’s are advertised in Vintage Guitar magazine. There are a number of
models: The CELEBRITY is a true F hole hollowbody, available in 6 or 12 string, with or
without whammy bar, and a bass. The COMBO is a fake hollowbody. The back is sawed off,
hollowed out, and glued back on. Available as a 6, 12 and bass. Most are familiar with
“The Ventures Model” This guitar started life as a STANDEL. Semie flipped a Strat body
over and traced for the shape, added a “German carve” he learned while apprenticing at
Rickenbacker, and voila’. Early versions had glued in necks, full body binding and the
jack plugged in the side. Later production versions had bolt-on necks, no body
binding,(all Mosrite necks are bound) and front jack. Virtually everything on a Moserite
is made in house or custom contracted. Only the Klusons are standard.
Mosrites are noted for their fantastic hand rubbed lacquer finishes, (God how he could
paint. Made his mother wet sand!), super thin, fast necks, (fat fingered players like
Joe Walsh have troubles) and way hot, single wound pickups. The Vibramute whammy bar is
the best. It has ball bearings in it! Version produced after the Ventures distribution
deal failed are called MARK I’s. 12 strings are MARK XII’s and a real short scale model
is the MARK V. There is a bass in this family. There are also Joe Maphis doublenecks,
BRASSRAILS, STEREO 350’s, some ACOUSTIC BLACK WIDOW’s, acoustics, (Buck Owens original
red, white and blue acoustic is a Mosrite.) Semie also made zillions of “one-offs”. He
showed me one that was completely made of burl. Weighed a ton.
I own one Mark I one of a kind. Translucent emerald green over maple. Three center
tapped pickups with no guard. Phase switches, 1 volume, 1 tone control. Rosewood and
maple neck, laminated sideways so that rosewood is the binding, with brass dot position
markers. Absolutely gorgeous and will be buried with me. A standard MARK I, done in
California Grape, a color that is testament to his painting skill. It will actually
change from a deep wine color to purple to blue as the light changes. Available for
trade on something interesting. A combo that was a painting test bed. Thirty years
later, Semie instantly recognized it. It has seven different layers of colors, and
changes color in the light also. A bright red Celebrity with whammy bar. A Celebrity 12
string. A Mark XII under restoration.
In 1987 I found a wreck of a guitar in a store and paid $200. It had been painted from a
spray can. Neck binding broken. Whammy bar broken. Funky knobs, I thought is was a fake.
Turned out to be a prototype Ventures production model. Semie began the restoration
process, which turned out to take up five years. He died during the process. His wife
and the crew finished it in Jan, 1993. It is in sunburst finish and has as much original
hardware as possible, and resides in a repro alligator case, as it came originally. not
for sale.
I hope I answered your question, if a bit wordy. I could fill a book. Get Vintage
Guitar. Expect to pay 400 to 800 for Combo’s, Celebrity’s, Brass Rails, 350’s. Not all
Acoustic Black Widow’s are Mosrites, only the ones with Combo necks. A good Mark I will
get 1500 to 2500. Good Ventures models have been up to 4500 . Pre- Ventures models up to
14,500. Dig deep in music stores, some on 48th street in NYC. I found the Combo in
Hawaii.
dale.

 

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